When we search for healthy food, we always look for brown rice, nutritious pulses, salads without seasoning and so on. But we often ignore other factors which could be a hindrance in the path of living a healthy life. Ever wondered why you are not getting enough nutrition that you should? While finding the answer, you go through the ingredients you included and avoided, though, never thought of the cooking oil. And that’s how necessary things get overlooked.
We know about different kinds of cooking oils but have little information on how they are made and how they should be used. Some cooking oils cannot handle high temperature and turn carcinogenic if they are being used that way. How oils are made, which are vegan cooking oils, how to properly use them – all these vital elements are given less importance. So, we gather some knowledge about some commonly used oils. We started with Canola Oil (Whether it is vegan and healthy) and now, we are scrutinizing Olive oil and to see if it’s vegan, how it should be used and what not to do with it.
Olive Oil – Vegan and Healthy?
What Is Olive Oil? – Olive oil is a very common oil used in cooking and salad dressing. It is made out of olives, a fruit which is found in the Mediterranean Basin. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which are considered to be healthy fats.
Is Olive Oil Vegan?
Yes, Olive oil is vegan as it is made out of the fruit of the olive trees. So, it is completely a plant-based oil. Olive oil doesn’t include any animal by-product whatsoever, so it is totally a vegan cooking oil to be included in your diet.
How Is Olive Oil Made
Olive oil is produced after grinding the olives and extracting the oils from them. At first, ripened olives are ground into a paste which is later spread on fiber disks. Then pressure is applied to separate the vegetal liquid from the paste. Even after applying pressure, the liquid would still have a significant amount of water. In the traditional method, the oil is separated from the water by gravity, but this process requires a lot of time. So, this slow process has been replaced by centrifugation.
The centrifuges have different exit points for oil and water. This last step takes a lot of supervision. Olive oil should not have traces of water as this can accelerate the process of organic degeneration. That’s why we should not choose oils from smaller mills as they may contain some watery deposit.
What Does ‘Extra Virgin’ Even Mean?
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest-quality olive oil. It means that the oil is not refined or treated with chemicals and high temperature. So, an unrefined olive oil contains more natural vitamins and minerals and has the true olive taste to it. Extra virgin olive oil also has 1% oleic acid. Extra virgin oil has a low smoke point which means the particular oil burns at a low temperature.
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vegan?
Yes. Just like normal vegan olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is also made from olives without any animal by-products. So, it is a stable choice for vegans and hence, this solves a query on ‘can vegans eat olive oil?’ Yes, vegans can have normal Olive oil as well as extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil also has a high amount of monounsaturated fats and a low amount of saturated and polyunsaturated fats- making it a healthy vegan oil.
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
Olive oil is considered to be one of the healthiest oils. Here are some health benefits of using Olive oil
- Monounsaturated Fats – Olive oil has a high amount of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) which are healthy fats. Also, studies show oleic acid reduces inflammation.
- Antioxidants – Olive oil has a large amount of antioxidants which can reduce the chance of chronic diseases. Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamin E and vitamin K.
- Protective Against Type 2 Diabetes – Olive oil’s protective effects are proven by a random clinical trial in 418 healthy people. This study shows olive oil can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Antibacterial Properties – A study shows that extra virgin olive oil can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in just two weeks.
Vegan Olive Oil Brands
Olive oils are proven to be healthy. But it can be a very tough job to find an olive oil brand to trust, which will provide you with each and every health benefit. There are some brands you can trust without a hint of doubt!
1. Corto Truly
This olive oil brand is a well-known and trusted brand among people. This extra virgin olive oil is also certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).
2. California Olive Ranch
California Olive Ranch makes cold-pressed olive oil and has a wide range of flavor profiles for every kind of dish- whether it’s a sweet or savory one.
3. Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This olive oil is first cold-pressed and perfect to add a wonderful taste to your foods and salads.
Alternatives to Olive Oil
We all know olive oil is a must-have. But, if you are searching for options, you would find some other oils which can be even healthier. Like –
- Sunflower Oil– Sunflower oil is a very good alternative to Olive oil. It’s very light oil with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Peanut Oil– Peanut oil is quite common in Asian cooking. It has a very light flavor and has a high smoke point which means it can handle high temperature.
- Walnut Oil– Just like Olive oil, walnut oil also contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats. It is made from crushed walnuts and has a thick texture. It also contains a nutty taste.
- Coconut Oil– Coconut oil has now become the go-to oil for vegan chefs. It is used for everything from roasting to frying. And unlike Olive oil, coconut oil works as a key ingredient in raw cakes and desserts.
- Canola Oil– Canola oil, also known as rapeseed oil, is made out of pressed canola seeds. It’s cheap to grow. But it doesn’t have a great nutritional value, and it is best for deep-fat frying only. Most of the food products have an expiry date. So, does canola oil also go bad? You can find that with us on our Vegan FAQs section.
Cooking oil is as important as any ingredient in your diet. And when you’re on the way to live on a healthy diet, Olive oil must be on your list. Whether it’s a matter of cooking your favorite dish or preparing a salad seasoning, olive oil works wonders in every case. And who can ignore the health benefits? Other vegan oils include sunflower oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and many more. So vegans, don’t stress out, you have got a lot of healthy and tasty options to choose from. You can prepare several recipes like Pan-fried mushrooms with olive oil.